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DIFL 2017-18 Rules

Priority Registration is given to all children of parents who support DIFL in 2017-18, (i.e., committee members, sponsors, team managers and coaches). We believe it is only fair to reward parents who volunteer and share the work required to run DIFL throughout the season.

Remaining places will be open on a first come first served basis through the General Registration process, which will open online after the Priority Registrations are over. Once a player registers with DIFL, the registration amount is non-refundable in all circumstances.

Players will be registered under the following categories:

Players will be registered under the following categories:

  • Wild Water Div2, age 7 and 8 (Birth Date 1 Jan’09 to 31 Dec’10)
  • Wild Water Div3, age 09 and 10 (Birth Date 1 Jan’07 to 31 Dec’08)
  • BigWong Div4, age 11 and 12 (Birth Date 1 Jan’05 to 31 Dec’06)
  • Bigwong Div5, age 13 and 14 (Birth Date 1 Jan’03 to 31 Dec’04)

DIFL will continue to:

  • Distribute different schools across teams
  • Distribute girls and boys across teams
  • Distribute goalkeepers across teams
  • Distribute age levels across teams
  • Distribute skill levels across teams

Once teams are selected, there will be No transfers between teams for any reason.

1. Team kit and accessories

The Team kit must be worn by all players during games. For their own safety, it is compulsory for all players to wear shin pads, during matches and for practice sessions. Players will not be allowed on the pitch without them. Football shoes must not have any sharp edges or metal showing on studs. Watches, rings, necklaces, bracelets/kaddas and earrings should be removed before matches.

2. Rules of Play

Borrowing players from other teams is not permitted, even if a team is under strength. This applies to all divisions. It is expected of the manager and the coach/assistant coach that they work together to build team spirit and communicate regularly and effectively with parents to ensure that the required numbers of players turn up for the weekly training sessions and for all matches.

DIFL will follow FIFA rules (see our web links to FIFA's rules) with the following exceptions:

  • Duration of Matches
  • DIVISION Match Duration Half Duration Half-time Break Size of Match Ball
    2 50 minutes 25 minutes 5 minutes 4
    3 50 minutes 25 minutes 5 minutes 4
    4 50 minutes 25 minutes 5 minutes 4
    5 60 minutes 30 minutes 5 minutes 5
  • Duration of Matches
  • Coaches and managers should make multiple substitutions to ensure that all players in their teams get equal playing time during games, regardless of the player's gender or skill level. All DIFL players have paid the same registration fee and DIFL, above all else, offers a learning, fun and inclusive environment. At no time should there be an excess number of players on the field: if a team scores with excess players on the field, the goal will be disallowed.

  • Offside
  • The offside rule will be strictly applied in Divisions 3, 4 & 5. For Divisions 1 and 2, there are separate rules as explained below.

  • Throw-in, offside and penalty rule exemptions
  • Div 1

    Throw In: Kids will have to throw in but no foul will be given for a wrong throw in.

    Offside: Only to be given if a player has been placed at the opposite side D or if a player is placed well behind the defence line (goal hanging).

    No penalties in division 1. If a penalty like situation occurs, a freekick just outside the D should be awarded.

    Div 2

    Throw In: If a player's throw-in is foul, the referee will give a 2nd chance, if need be along with some guidance from the referees and/or coaches. If the 2nd throw is also foul, the game will continue, but the referee will talk to the team coach about working on improving the player's throw-ins.

    Offside: Offside will be given for goal-hanging or 'substantive' breaches of the offside rule (2 meters+).

    Penalty: The penalty rule applies, but referees will be instructed not to award 'soft' penalties.

    Other rule exemptions

    For division 1 and 2, players are still learning and it is important that common sense and sportsmanship prevails. We will not, therefore, enforce rules covering e.g. backpasses to goal-keepers for these cohorts. Since there have been instances in the past, a defence wall set up in response to a freekick should be at a sufficient distance to allow the attacking team an opportunity to score.

    Div 3

    Throw In: Kids will have to throw in from behind the line, both feet on the ground with proper release of the ball. For a foul throw, he/she will be given a second chance before it goes to the other team.

    Offside: Proper offside rules apply. Div 4 & 5 all FIFA rules apply

  • Team Strength
  • Division 1: 7 a side
    Wild Water Div2: 9 a side
    Wild Water Div3: 9 players a side
    BigWong Div4: 7 players a side
    BigWong Div5: 7 players a side
  • DIFL Fair Play Principles: The +2 Rule

  • Due to unforeseen circumstances such as school exams or other school events, traffic jams, family obligations, etc a team may suffer an undeserved disadvantage. If unable to field a full strength team, the opposing team (applicable to Div 1 to Div 4) will not be allowed to play with more than two players more on the pitch than the under strength team is able to field.  In Division 5 however the opposing team can play with a difference of not more than than one player.  As additional players arrive, the balance would shift but the maximum of two player (Div 1 to 4) and maximum of one player (BigWong Div5) difference between the teams should always be retained throughout the match.

    This would be in the spirit of good sportsmanship and what DIFL stands for.


  • Walkovers: minimum team strength at scheduled kick-off time
  • In order to adhere to match timings, reward teams who show up on time and prevent delays due to a team not having the required minimum players at the start of the match, DIFL has decided that the minimum number of players required for a team to start a match, across all divisions, is 5. In the event that a team fails to field this minimum number of players, the players of the two teams will be mixed and have an organised training session instead.

  • Match cancellation, postponement or abandonment (by the referee):
  • Matches cannot be cancelled/postponed and played later. DIFL operates a tight schedule that does not allow for this. We have tried to e.g. ensure that no team is overly dependent on children from any one school in order to avoid this type of situation. Therefore, a team that cannot play a match because of the absence of a sufficient number of team members - for whatever reason - forfeits the match with a score of 3:0.

    Matches will start on time regardless of team numbers. Referees will not wait for players who are late to arrive. The maximum delay to scheduled kick-off is 5 minutes.

    Only the referee can decide to abandon a match. A possible scenario is the threat of lightning - though this has not happened in DIFL’s past. The referee will not abandon a match because it is cold or wet - these are standard playing conditions in most other parts of the world. If a match is abandoned, the result at that time stands as the final result. If the game does not kick off at all, it will be considered a draw 0:0.

3. Coaches on the pitch

Coaches will be allowed on the pitches in Divisions 1 and 2 only (but they are not allowed in the box area near the goal -- known as the "D"). There will be no Coaches on the pitch in any other division. All Coaches shall remain with their substitutes in the “technical area” so marked. Just like with parents and players, Coaches and Managers should refrain from standing near the boundary lines, maintaining a two-foot clear zone to enable the linesmen to properly view the plays and make calls and to enable players to comfortably manage throw-ins and plays near the lines.

4. Unregistered players

  • Unregistered players must NOT be played in any circumstances.
  • A team that plays an UNREGISTERED player forfeits the game 3:0.

5. Points

For all Divisions 2 to 5 points are awarded for a win and 1 point for a draw. The overall score at the end of the season will determine the team placing. In case teams end up with the same number of points, then the count back system will be applied and this can be viewed from the DIFL website. There are no points awarded in Division 1 nor are any League Tables maintained.

Head Coaches or Managers must inform Division Coordinators of match results the same day a match is played.

6. Maximum Goal Difference

For all DIFL matches, the maximum goal difference that will be recorded is 7. Please note that Goal Difference is no longer used in league standing calculations, which is governed solely by The count back system . DIFL enforces the maximum goal difference rule in order to further encourage teams to play in the spirit of football first and foremost.

If a match is being played in which a team has scored 7 or more goals more than its opposing team, DIFL would encourage the Head Coach of the winning team to take one of the following actions, in consultation with the opposing team Head Coach:

  • Give the weaker players on his/her team an opportunity to play more or in different positions to get greater exposure and learning and ask the stronger ones to cheer them on. This is what competitive sports teams would do.
  • Play with fewer players on the pitch to balance the skills between the two teams.


DIFL is not asking teams to stop playing when the goal difference exceeds 7. However, we strongly encourage all coaches and managers to think first and foremost about the spirit of the game and find the best ways to make sure ALL players on ALL teams get a chance to learn and develop their enthusiasm for football.

7. Format for Division 1

  • 6 teams. They will start with one friendly match.
  • Henceforth, each team will play each other twice in a full league format.
  • Division 1 has no League tables.

Format for Division 2 to 4

  • 8 teams in each division.
  • All teams play each other twice in a full league format.


Format for Division 5

a.                   6 teams in each Division

b.                   All teams play each other twice in a full league format and winners will be decided.

c.                   A mini tournament will be happen for the remaining 4 match days where

o    Matches will start based on the teams league standing

o    Every match will end in a result.

o    Winner of the tournament will be one with Max number of points.

o    This winner will be separate from the league winner.

8. Cup Competition

This season each team will also automatically be entered into the DIFL Cup Competition as well as the usual league. For a full explanation of the Cup Competition rules, please see the DIFL website.

9. Player attendance

Managers are responsible for managing player attendance both at games and training sessions. Where a child fails to attend training without a reasonable explanation, he/she should be warned in the first instance. Coaches need to motivate their players to attend practice regularly, but whether they come for practice or not, Fair Play- the equal play time principle - is in effect for all matches. For consistent failure to show up for weekly practices or matches, expulsion of the player will be considered. For more details, please see Absentees in DIFL and Injury Absenteeism .

10. Attendance by Coaches, and Managers

All volunteers have committed to attending games and training. While it is accepted and inevitable that not all volunteers will be able to attend all sessions throughout the DIFL season, repeated non-appearance is unfair to players and to other volunteers. In such circumstances, kindly inform the Division Coordinators who will follow up, including where necessary, by raising the issue directly with the person accused of failing to attend. In extreme cases, the volunteer may be blacklisted. If, within the first few games, a volunteer is suspected of never having intended to honour DIFL commitments, the issue may be brought to the next executive meeting and the possible expulsion of the player could be considered, bearing in mind both the need to enforce DIFL volunteer commitments, and the impact on the child.

The role of a Manager is crucial for a team's performance during matches and practices. It also helps the team bond and the Manager and Coaches to get to know one another and familiarize themselves with every aspect of the team-attendance, performance etc. If a Manager is unable to attend on a particular day, he/she should appoint a parent to take charge of supervision, attendance, monitoring kids and ensuring that the snacks are distributed during that day/session.